Customer Reviews: Now Is The Time
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4.3 out of 5 stars
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on June 1, 2010
Jeff Lorber is one of the very few Jazz Funk and Smooth Jazz artists who has successfully straddled both eras.
This is a killer fusion album that his longtime fans will like and that should make him some new fans in the process.
He inundates himself with expert players and vocalists, which only add to his genius and succeed in making you feel so relaxed that all your cares just melt away with each stanza.
In fact some great jazz cats join in : (American Idol band ) guitarist Paul Jackson, Jr., saxophonist Eric Marienthal, bassist Jimmy Haslip, trumpeter Randy Brecker, drummers Vinnie Colaiuta and Dave Weckl, the Blood, Sweat and Tears Horns, vocalist Irene B and many other great players from the Smooth Jazz arena.
This CD, which includes "new' takes of some of his tracks from previous recordings and covers of some favourite tunes will make listeners just feel good.
Each track has a lively tone to it and has instruments like keyboards and alto and tenor saxophones that will gladden any fan of smooth jazz and Jazz Funk.
"Now is The Time" is proof of that in itself with tracks like "Black Ice", "Chinese Medicinal Herbs", "Water Sign" and "Sumatra" having that Fusion feel and would not have been out of place on Lorber's early 80's albums for Arista.
"Dr Moy", which features Rufus guitarist Tony Maiden and percussion heavyweight Lenny Castro, is totally funky and there are two vocal tracks "Sugar Free" and "Curtains/ Before We Go", showcasing the sensual, sweet singing of Irene B.
As usual, the legendary fusion keyboard player has returned with a typically polished set of good time grooves, but it is the overall feel of this set that is impressive..
My favourite tracks are: "Mysterious Traveller", "Chinese Medicine Herbs" amd "Water Signs".
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on June 2, 2010
I purchased this cd today when I saw the artist listed as Jeff Lorber Fusion and rightly or wrongly I was expecting them to bring it like when my buddy Bobby Harris turned me on to them 30 years ago and the classic trilogy of WaterSign, Wizard Island and Galaxian was released. Especially when I saw the track listing contained remakes of some JLF classics AND a Weather Report cover! Unfortunately, I must report that while this is a nice cd, enjoyable, overall it was a disappointment because it shares more with today's smooth jazz (of which Jeff Lorber is a master) than it does with the original JLF. Especially since there are 4 or 5 vocal cuts. If you're only familiar with Jeff Lorber since the late 80's and beyond, you'll love the cd. If you go way back to days of the original Jeff Lorber Fusion, beware.
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on March 5, 2013
Husband is a big fan and he loves jazz. Had to have this CD, so I purchased it for a birthday gift. Played it until I told him to stop. Now its in is car so I don't have to listen to it over and over again. If you love jazz this is a must have let me husband tell the story.
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on June 13, 2013
This is a nice subtle CD to add to your Lorber collection. Rivals the others out there and is just as good as his latest CD. I enjoy a lot of the songs and the vocals are a nice touch that adds to the music.
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on January 17, 2013
I enjoy this CD. I don't really understand some of the reviews that say that this is not the Jeff Lorber Fusion of the past. I mean duh. The whole point is to revisit the tunes from his perspective now. It's great to hear a true artist reinterpret his own stuff. I hear the good classic stuff restated the same way. But I hear him color things differently. And this is Jazz guys. Not supposed to be the same each time.

As far as the voice added. Sure that is not what was in the originals. But these are classics now. Classics get lyrics. And the singing is great.

He keeps the genius just in check, in classic Lorber style,but every once in a while on each tune, he lets the genius run free. I like that tension that brings to your music.

Jeff, you can do your music the way you want, and I will always listen.
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on June 23, 2010
Bottom line: this isn't an ode to the classic JLF. I'm disappointed, hence only 2 stars. Why JL would append his legendary group's moniker to a record that is so obviously not fusion is beyond me. I don't care if he has fusion stalwarts like Vinnie Colaiuta and Jimmy Haslip holding down the rhythm section...and they are two of my favorite all/old-timers! This is just another one of JL's post-80s studio generated, smooth jazz records. Even with the horn section(which I don't particularily care for either) this record somehow lacks the 'band feel' of the early JLF. The early JLF was about Jeff and his keys interacting with a funky, super-tight, jazz-inclined rhythm section. Wizard Island and Galaxian actually made Gorelick sound jazzy at times. (Of course I'm talking about you, Kenny G). Rather, this recording sounds like polished musicians pulling punches to get radio play.

Perhaps Jeff should take a note from Stanley Clarke. His new record not only has the band feel, but is also a fusion record...for real.

Ask me, I think Jeff just likes being able to hear himself play for a change. Fusion cats tend to play loud.

Again, don't let the 'Fusion' moniker fool you. This is just another JL smooth jazz record.
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on April 6, 2012
This is Classic Jeff Lorber at it's finest. The old tunes were very good to hear and the new arrangements were of course, phenomenal. The addition of Jimmy Haslip and Eric Marienthal is one of the best decisions Jeff ever made. The new stuff is awesome as well. The use of the retro keyboard sounds is paramount to his cool, technical style. A man after my own heart, Jeff has done it again. He never fails to find some little corner of music that he hasn't gone to yet. Always something new but with the mainstay of the talent and technique that has enthralled and entertained us for decades.
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on June 4, 2010
Wizard Island was the album that made me a Jeff Lorber fan back in 1980. Lorber, Bradford, Wilson, and Kenny G (before he had his, uh, last name surgically removed) created what to my mind was the protoype of jazz/rock fusion. That LP/cassette/disc/mp3 has been on heavy rotation in my life for nearly 30 years.

Since West Side Stories, I have also appreciated the remakes of older Lorber cuts on each album. Everybody else is sampling Lorber's work, why shouldn't he?

This collection does an excellent job of harkening back to the original JLF with some excellent upgrades like the BS&T horn section and modern recording technology. It maintains the jazz feel and rocks harder. If you liked the direction Lorber was heading with Heard That, you will like this album.

I haven't been a fan of most of the vocalists Lorber has worked with (Karyn White excepted), but Irene B gets the concept of the album and brings a fresh take on the classics, too.

And doesn't Jimmy Haslip make every album he plays on better? (Go back and listen to Bruce Hornsby's Harbor Lights after you listen to this album.)
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on July 24, 2010
There is nothing negative about some (or this) review(s). The fact is, this CD has nothing to do with fusion, and is all about smooth 'jazz'. Even the few Jeff Lorber Fusion covers on this CD have gotten the smooth treatment.

This is an excellent smooth jazz CD, and though not my cup of tea, I appreciate it is others'. The reverse courtesy would be nice; after all, we are all Jeff Lorber fans (as the passionate reviews can attest). Three stars only for me because I don't subscribe to this style of music, but Jeff deserves great respect not only for his previous accomplishments, but also for his (this) current one(s) regardless of our tastes or preferences.
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on June 15, 2010
I don't understand some of the comments here. the first time through, I thought wow! Second time through, I'm still like wow! The playing on this is just amazing. I really like Jeff, so I was a little worried where he might go with this album, but i thought the playing was just so crisp and the sound was really sharp and just makes me glad I did buy it. I like to hear real instruments in my music. this doesn't disappoint. Maybe it's not like his earlier rock/fusion, but that's a good thing. I'm glad he has transformed into someone who get's the smooth jazz sound and can translate the old into the new. Great work.
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